1. First Spanish Reader: A Beginner's Dual-Language Book

The methodology of learning a foreign language through storytelling has proven to bring consistent results and is becoming more and more popular among students and teachers. Its principal advantage is providing a context to new phrases and words, making them more meaningful and thus easier to retain. What’s more - it stimulates students’ concentration level by offering engaging and often entertaining study materials. 

If you are a beginner student of Spanish and would like to give storytelling a chance, do take a look at the First Spanish Reader Dual-Language Book. It offers a collection of 41 one-page, fable-style stories arranged in such a way that different grammar tenses are introduced gradually, one by one. 

At the end of the book, you’ll find a selection of exercises and a glossary of all the terms used in the stories. First Spanish Reader was first published in 1964 has already had fourteen editions, which gives you an idea about how popular this book has been among readers. 


  • various formats available, including a Kindle version at USD 6.36
  • Amazon offers a look inside
  • a variety of topics
  • suitable for all ages


  • it would be great to have a similar book for intermediate and advanced students
  • Kindle version not suitable for side-by-side reading
  • for intermediate rather than beginner students
Visit First Spanish Reader: A Beginner's Dual-Language Book

2. Spanish Short Stories for Beginners

If you think that learning Spanish through storytelling might just be your cup of tea, here’s another title you might want to consider. Spanish Short Stories for Beginners is a series of three books (+ audio) - a handy combo to improve both your reading and listening comprehension skills. 

Each volume contains ten stories of about 1500 words each, which is just the right length for optimal attention. The stories deal with easy, everyday topics and are conveniently divided into sections for easier reading. The most challenging words and expressions are written in bold letters, and their English meaning is provided in the small glossary after every section. 

Once you’ve read the whole story, you can use the audio material and practice some listening. Finally, there is a selection of comprehension exercises, a summary (both in Spanish and English), and a translation of the whole text at the end of each story. 


  • the Kindle version at only USD 3.90 per book (Amazon price)
  • the audio material can be downloaded from Amazon for free
  • entertaining and relatable stories with lots of useful everyday vocabulary
  • well-structured method of working with the stories and checking the reader’s comprehension
  • very favorable readers’ reviews
  • best for A2 students


  • some previous Spanish background required for best results
Visit Spanish Short Stories for Beginners

3. Accelerated Spanish

“Learn fluent Spanish with a proven accelerated learning system” is the promise that Timothy Moser - the author of the book - makes to his readers. Who wouldn’t like that, right? Let’s have a look then at what his “accelerated system” is and how it works, shall we?

Instead of the traditional/boring way of learning Spanish, with the typical conjugation tables, grammar charts, and vocabulary lists, Moser offers an approach based on experiences and impressions (the stranger the better), which humans tend to remember much better than contextless information. In other words: he teaches Spanish through so-called “mnemonics” - a memorization technique based on associations.

What will you find in the book? It contains six lessons for absolute beginners that teach the very basics of Spanish grammar (from simple pronouns and prepositions to most common verbs and verb structures). Will you learn to speak fluent Spanish just by reading Moser’s book? You won’t. But you’ll surely get a better understanding of how this language works. 


  • a free digital version if you have a Kindle Unlimited account
  • a novel and effective approach to language learning
  • funny associations and pictures (“mind palaces”) help you remember words easier


  • a memorization technique guide rather than a Spanish course
Visit Accelerated Spanish

4. Easy Spanish Step-By-Step

A good grammar book is one of the essential materials you need when studying a foreign language - we all know that. However, when the market is overflown with hundreds of alternatives, finding a “good” grammar book might be hard.

Now, let’s clarify what “good” is when it comes to grammar materials. First of all, a good grammar book should be adjusted to your level and contain topics relevant to that level, presented in a logical order. It should provide easy-to-understand explanations and graphics and a variety of graded exercises to practice the presented content. 

Easy Spanish Step-By-Step” offers you all that and more: a step-by-step approach to learning Spanish that mimics the way people naturally develop language skills. The author of the book - Barbara Bregstein - guides readers into building interconnected blocks of grammar patterns in order to boost communication from day 1. 


  • a must-have for beginner students of Spanish
  • “Complete” and “Advanced Spanish” also available
  • reasonable pricing
  • content divided into logical, sequential steps
  • complete selection of contents for the A1-A2 level


  • print quality could be better
Visit Easy Spanish Step-By-Step

5. Living Language Spanish

The Living Language Method was initially invented in the forties (!) to help diplomats and other US state officials improve their foreign languages command. With time, it has evolved into complete courses for several different languages, including Spanish. 

Depending on your level, you can purchase either an essential, intermediate or advanced version of the course (or invest a little more and buy the complete set of 3 books + 9 CDs). The methodology used by Living Language is similar to the “block-building” one as in “Easy Spanish Step-By-Step,” which is quite simple to follow and helps to build communicative skills from the very beginning. 


  • a complete language course with a proven methodology
  • great for learning Spanish while driving
  • audio materials recorded in neutral Spanish
  • conveniently priced compared to other courses (e.g., Rosetta Stone)
  • additional free study materials available on the Living Language homepage


  • some students might perceive it as too traditional and grammar-loaded 
Visit Living Language Spanish

6. Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach

If a language study book gets published for the first time in 1951 and seventy years later, it still gets republished regularly and is available for sale; you can be sure that it is on to something. Margarita Madrigal - and her “Magic Key to Spanish” might be just the right thing to give your Spanish the boost it needs. 

Moving away from the oh-so-boring method of rule memorization and repetitive drill exercises, Madrigal suggests a different, more creative, and exciting approach to Spanish learning, teaching readers how to understand how this language works for much faster vocabulary building and better retention. 

The book is divided into 45 lessons, which walk the reader by the hand through the essential Spanish contents. Starting from English - Spanish cognates, it explains word formation and transformation, basic verb conjugations, and useful phrases. With down-to-earth explanations, plenty of examples, simple conversations, and translation exercises, it offers tremendous help for all students of Spanish, especially the self-teaching ones. 


  • proven methodology
  • appropriate content selection for elementary students
  • 77% of five-star reviews on Amazon
  • original Andy Warhol’s illustrations
  • other language versions available 


  • Kindle messes with the book format and is not typo-free
Visit Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach

7. 501 Spanish Verbs (Barron's 501 Verbs)

One of the most challenging aspects of Spanish for those who learn it as a second language is most definitely the complex verb conjugation system. Having a rich selection of verbs with their corresponding conjugation tables and examples of use in one pocket-size book that you can take with you and use as a reference wherever you go is a definite help either for a Spanish quiz or a real-life conversation. 

If you’ve been in language learning for long enough, you’ll recognize trustworthy publishing straight away. Barron’s and its educational series is a highly-esteemed brand that offers high-quality materials, both classroom work, test preparation, and individual study. Their “501 Spanish Verbs” selection is well-worthy of the brand prestige. It contains a complete guide to all Spanish tenses and moods, with formation rules and examples of use. In the last part, you will find complete conjugation charts of 501 essential verbs, based on which you’ll be able to conjugate 2,300 more. 

With its 736 pages, the book might be a little too heavy to carry around, but it is a definite must-have for anyone wishing to move beyond the infinitive form. 


  • explanation of ALL Spanish grammar tenses and moods
  • verbs presented in idiomatic phrases 
  • examples of usage
  • prestigious publishing
  • bonus online materials


  • verb search impossible in the Kindle version
  • for the paperback format, users have denounced a mix-up between a Spanish cover for Italian verbs
Visit 501 Spanish Verbs (Barron's 501 Verbs)

8. Spanish Verb Tenses (Barron's Verb)

Is “501 Spanish Verbs” already in your cart? Wait before hitting the “BUY” button, though, as I will try to tempt you with a perfect complement. In learning a foreign language, practice is absolutely indispensable.

There is no use in memorizing Spanish words if you are never going to have a conversation in this language. Plus, as you probably remember from school, any content you don’t exercise enough vanishes from your memory within days. 

The “501 Spanish Verbs” will provide you with the explanations and examples you need. “Spanish Verb Tenses” by Frank Nuessel (also Barron’s publishing), on the other hand, will offer lots of helpful learning features, such as crossword puzzles, practical exercises, and valuable tips. 

The book is an excellent textbook supplement for high school and college-level courses and can be used by anyone who wishes to improve their command of Spanish verb conjugations. 


  • affordable price
  • a comprehensive collection of Spanish grammar tenses
  • thoughtfully designed exercises


  • type of exercises will probably work best for younger learners 
Visit Spanish Verb Tenses (Barron's Verb)

9. Spanish For Dummies

Did you know when the “For Dummies” series was first released back in the eighties, some book stores were afraid of selling them, thinking that readers would find the title offensive? Yet, the simple, down-to-earth, and non-patronizing books soon saw a huge market and have sold over 200 million copies!

If you have been struggling with Spanish grammar since high school, and no book or course seems to work, “Spanish for Dummies” might be just what you need. Instead of complex and confusing explanations, you’ll find practical everyday phrases with a phonetic pronunciation guide and corresponding translation.

Spanish for Dummies” might not get you ready for an advanced level of the DELE test, but it will definitely help you learn the key phrases and just enough grammar to survive in any Spanish-speaking country. As the slogan of the book says: “Learn Latin American Spanish quickly and painlessly.” 


  • the complexities of Spanish grammar explained in a simple and understandable way
  • practical exercises and examples
  • bonus audio CD-ROM with real-life dialogues
  • paper and kindle versions available 
  • an excellent complement for your Spanish classes


  • focused on Mexican Spanish only. 
Visit Spanish For Dummies

10. Practice Makes Perfect collection for Spanish

“´Practice makes perfect” is an acclaimed collection of educational textbooks by a leading American publishing McGraw Hill. It is particularly strong on languages, and for Spanish alone, it offers a set of over 20 books covering every aspect of the language. 

Spanish Verb Tenses,” “Spanish Conversation,” “Spanish Sentence Builder,” “Spanish pronouns and prepositions,” Spanish grammar for different levels - are only a few of the bestselling titles from the series. Whatever question or doubt you might have regarding the Spanish language, “Practice makes perfect,” will surely have an answer. 

Why do thousands of readers love studying Spanish with “Practice Makes Perfect”? It gives them just what they need - a lot of opportunities to refresh their high-school knowledge of the language through pertinent and challenging exercises that go beyond simple drills or gap-filling. 


  • an impressive collection of books on EVERY aspect of the Spanish language
  • a prestigious publisher and experienced authors
  • exercises that challenge the learner into thinking and creating


  • Kindle users have reported faulty formatting 
Visit Practice Makes Perfect collection for Spanish

11. Spanish All-in-One For Dummies

Spanish study materials can get pricey sometimes. If you are on a limited budget and look for a value-for-money, I recommend you take a look at the “Spanish All-In-One For Dummies.” As mentioned above, the “For Dummies” series has been highly successful by offering a less academic approach to learning.

For a price of USD 21 (Amazon Kindle), you can purchase a book that comprises four separate Spanish guides (“Spanish for Dummies,” “Intermediate Spanish for Dummies,” “Spanish verbs for Dummies,” and “Spanish for Dummies Audio Set”). 21 bucks for hours and hours of study material that will help you refresh the basics, learn how to communicate both in every day and work settings and even improve your pronunciation!

Still doubtful whether the book is worth the money? Check readers’ reviews, and you’ll see how much they’ve loved it!.  


  • a comprehensive book that allows you to really progress with your Spanish
  • value-for-money
  • audio CD with practical dialogues
  • Tips for using adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases
  • Spanish-to-English and English-to-Spanish dictionaries
  • Business Spanish phrases included


  • no online version of the audio files
Visit Spanish All-in-One For Dummies

12. Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary

Not everyone is interested in becoming proficient in Spanish. Sometimes you just want to pick up a few basic phrases to help go through passport control, check-in at a hotel, order lunch or a couple of beers or buy a bunch of souvenirs in a Spanish-speaking country you happen to be visiting. 

If you have a globetrotter’s soul, you are probably familiar with the Lonely Planet series of travel guides that help people prepare to travel to even the most remote places. Yet, you might not have realized that Lonely Planet also offers a collection of practical phrasebooks for various languages, including Spanish. 

No time for Spanish classes before your trip? Then make sure to have your Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook and Dictionary at hand. There you’ll find a selection of useful Spanish expressions to help you ask for directions, talk about food, socialize or enjoy a sightseeing tour, whether in Spain or Latin America. 


  • convenient size to be carried around without a problem
  • an excellent reference for Spanish traveling phrases
  • helpful tips regarding food, transport, and accommodation
  • cheap (EUR 5.99 for paperback)
  • mini dictionary included


  • contains some terms used only in México
Visit Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary

13. 30 DiAS: Spanish in 30 days

Can you learn a foreign language in only 30 days? Of course not. But if you take on a challenge to work on your Spanish for 30 consecutive days, even if it is just a few minutes a day, I guarantee you will see a difference at the end of the month. Especially if you follow the study plan proposed by Natasha Villavicencio. 

In her book “30 DIAS: Spanish in 30 days”, she takes the reader on a trip to León, a city in a Latin American country, where three American students (Larry, Jane, and George) travel to learn Spanish with a charismatic teacher, Ms. Díaz. A story-like approach with eight comic drawings, lots of visuals, quizzes, and other exercises will make your 30-day challenge enjoyable and fun. 


  • engaging and easy to follow, especially for younger learners
  • learn in context for lasting results
  • 30-days vocabulary tests by the same author also available


  • Kindle version not available
  • costs almost USD 40. 
Visit 30 DiAS: Spanish in 30 days

14. Easy Spanish Phrase Book LangU

If you liked the Lonely Planet Phrasebook, I might interest you as well in a more complete version published by Dover Language Guides with over 700 Spanish phrases for daily use. The author of the book, Pablo Garcia-Loaeza, a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature, is an Associate Professor of Spanish at West Virginia University. 

The phrases included in his book are divided into 27 units and include topics like family, children, pets, basic courtesy expressions, culture and entertainment, computers and technology, health, money, and so - virtually everything you need to keep afloat for the first couple of months after landing in a Spanish-speaking country. 

Logically organized and well-chosen phrases, with simplified phonetic transcriptions and translations, has turned “Easy Spanish Phrase Book” into a bestseller. 


  • handy and packed with phrases you can REALLY use
  • perfect for beginners looking to establish a basic conversation
  • very cheap to buy (priced at under USD 4 on Amazon)


  • some buyers report poor print quality

Visit Easy Spanish Phrase Book LangU

15. Spanish English Bilingual Visual Dictionary

Visuals are of tremendous help when learning a foreign language and help remember new vocabulary for much longer. Having a good picture dictionary, where all the words are accompanied by a related drawing or a photo, is useful not only for little children but for teenage and adult learners as well. 

Spanish-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary” is one of the numerous books published under the DK brand, the world's leading illustrated reference publisher. What you’ll find inside are names of hundreds of objects, from socks to a guitar string, both in Spanish and English, and pointing to a corresponding image. 

With this practical dictionary, you will no longer have to struggle to buy the fruit or the clothes you need, you’ll know how to ask for a stapler or a hammer in case you need them, and you’ll never again feel lost in your daily Spanish. 


  • contains over 6 thousand words and phrases
  • thematically organized with a word index at the end
  • clear and high-quality illustrations
  • practical pronunciation guide
  • free audio app with native speaker recordings available


  • some users have reported problems with the audio app. 
  • relatively large size makes it difficult to carry around
Visit Spanish English Bilingual Visual Dictionary